Paris, France: Drawing inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s strong, sensuous, and unflinching self-portraits, Kristy Caylor of Maiyet presented a collection she called “A Look Inside” on March 1 during Paris Fashion Week AW 2014. Just as Kahlo looked inside herself to create her self-portraits, Caylor looked inside the creative process by using a graphic pattern based on the punch cards used to create hand-woven jacquard patterns. She further extended the “looking inside” idea with pieces that incorporated sheer fabrics or very deep U-necks. Reflecting Kahlo’s blend of sensitivity and strength, Caylor presented both sleek, body conscious feminine pieces and as well as jackets and trousers, some showing a strong menswear influence. And in keeping with the brand’s emphasis on supporting artisanal craftsmanship, the designer used hand-knit and hand-woven linen and silk, hand-embroidered embellishments, and handmade earrings and rings.
Shiny, sexy patent leather added gloss to a mostly muted palette and suggested a self-reflecting mirror. A quilted black jacket and button-down shirt tempered a patent leather straight skirt. Caylor slipped a hand-woven, deep U-neck dress under a soft patent leather blazer and showed a cropped patent leather bomber jacket over a sleeveless tunic and hand-embroidered skirt. Patent leather also appeared as the contouring element on a long-sleeved black dress.
Menswear-inspired styles included wide-lapel blazers in black and in a jacquard fabric with a button-down shirt, skinny silk tie, and hand-woven tweed pants. A shawl-like vest added a feminine touch to a long shirtdress, and a hand-embroidered, cropped cross-over jacket added a masculine touch to a U-neck slip top in deep burgundy worn with a cross-over skirt.
For the brightest touches of color, Caylor used gold and yellow. Gold animated a punch-card pattern on a draped flange dress in hand-cut silk and pointed up geometric shapes on a dress with gently rounded shoulders. Gorgeous yellow fur playfully accented a black cropped cross-over jacket and a camisole.
Fox fur appeared as a removable accent placed at the hipline of a hand-knit ribbed sweater and draped delicately over one shoulder of a long cardigan. A vest with a sumptuous gray fur collar added warmth over a hand-embroidered shirt dress, and a fur collar added elegance to a sheer black dress shown with lingerie shorts and a patent leather corset bra top.
For a dramatic, feminine quality, stunning gowns were classy and alluring with flowing shapes, hand-embroidery, and soft black fabric. Model Charlene Hogger wore a deep U-neck dress with a hand-embroidered corset bra top. Other models appeared in a flowing gown with a deep U-neck, a hand-embroidered corset bra gown, and a hand-woven draped flange gown.
Makeup and hair worked together to enhance the polished, bohemian-urban look of the collection. Makeup artist Tom Pecheux gave models glossy metallic eyelids and omitted eyeliner in the bottom center for a more eye-opening effect. A facial massage with Rodin Olio Lusso Oil and a drop of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair added to the foundation created a dewy look, completed with a M.A.C. lipstick called “Myself.” Hairstylist Orlando Pita kept the feeling going with casually sophisticated hair in varying lengths, straightened and parted softly.
Kristy Caylor serves as president and creative director of Maiyet, which she founded in 2011 along with social justice advocates Daniel Lubetzky and Paul van Zyl. Named for the Egyptian goddess of truth and harmony, Maiyet incorporates artisanal craftsmanship from Kenya, India, Indonesia, Italy, Peru, Mongolia, and Colombia. In addition to the goal of supporting dignified employment, prosperity, and stability in these countries, the brand seeks to sustain and advance these countries’ traditions of fine craftsmanship. This pioneering young luxury brand was unique at Paris Fashion Week not only for its simple beauty and bon chic but also for its ethical perspective on the fashion business. Maiyet can no doubt look forward to many successful seasons dressing the modern bohemian woman who appreciates special pieces with a special human story behind them.
Designer: Kristy Caylor
Makeup: Tom Pecheux for M.A.C. Cosmetics
Hairstyling: Orlando Pita
Nails Kure Bazaar Paris
Editor in Chief: Semant Jain, Ph.D.
Article Editor: Elizabeth Nash
Fashion Writer: Michelle O. Dente